Sunday, July 13, 2008

Social Media Allows Grown-Ups to be Kids

Young children easily play with whatever children are around them. As children grow it becomes a bit more awkward to simply befriend another. As one enters the teenage years, the saga continues where it takes longer periods of time of being together or similar interests to draw teens together into friendships. There are a few exceptions to this rule like my 14 year old daughter who started a new school for 9th grade this year. She did have an immediate group of new friends because of joining the swim team but that wasn't enough. She has become much more outgoing this year....she literally walked around asking other kids if they wanted to be her friend. I thought she was kidding with me when she told me she was doing that, but she wasn't. Luckily, she met many very nice friends this way. we move into adulthood, college and the workplace, it takes more time to develop these friendships, relationships, acquaintances, or whatever you want to call the interactions betwen two people. As I have started to use social media tools, and especially today as I started posting and commenting on the network created for the Laptop Institute Conference, it got me thinking how easy these tools make it to do what is difficult for adults to do in real life. Many adults, myself included, are hesitant to muster up conversations with others. As much as we are all at this type of event to do just that, I am often quiet and shy. I am less timid having tools such as the ning created for NECC, and this interactive site for the Laptop Institute.

This got me to thinking and wondering about this phenomena of how these social online tools are really changing behaviors.  I know that I feel like I am gaining so much more from the summer conferences and trainings I am attending because of these tools.  I'm sure I'm not alone in this adult world of making new friends as easily as one does as a five year old.

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